Some specification for thesis require 10pt quote on a separate line. Assuming that the thesis is written with 12pt is this correct approach to obtain 10pt for quote?

Is any other simple solution?



You asked,

Assuming that the thesis is written with 12pt is [\footnotesize the] correct approach to obtain 10pt for quote?

Short answer: Yes. More precisely, it's one among several possible correct approaches to obtaining the desired formatting outcome.

Now on to a longer answer. The report document class defines the option 12pt as follows:


whereby \@ptsize is set to 2. Later on in report.cls, one finds these instructions:


This (a) executes \renewcommand\@ptsize{2} and (b) inputs the file size12.clo as \@ptsize is expanded to 2.

Next, in the file size12.clo, one finds the following instructions:

   % (other stuff)


   % (other stuff)

Aside: \@xpt and \@xiipt expand to 10 and 12, respectively.

Long story short: If the report class is loaded with the option 12pt, the main font size -- \normalsize -- is 12pt on 2.5 points of leading, while \footnotesize works out to 10pt on 2 points of leading. ("Leading" is an old-fashioned (archaic??) expression, which refers to the thickness of the strips of lead that were inserted between lines of metal type.)

What to do with all this information?

  • If your document has just one quote environment, it's perfectly alright to insert the instruction \footnotesize right after \begin{quote}.

    Aside: Note that \footnotesize is a switch and doesn't take an argument. Thus, \footnotesize{\kant[1]} is no different from \footnotesize \kant[1]; the latter is preferable since it doesn't create any false impressions.

  • If your document features several quote environments and if they must all be typeset at 10pt, I suggest you load the etoolbox package in the preamble and insert the instruction


    to automate the process of switching to the required font size.

  • If, for some reason, you take pride in making LaTeX execute only the absolutely minimal number of instructions needed to get a given job done, you might observe that \footnotesize actually performs additional instructions -- such as changing the default amount of vertical whitespace that's inserted above and below displayed equations -- besides changing the font size to 10pt on 2pt of leading; it turns out that these additional instructions aren't needed here. Indeed, instead of running \footnotesize, you could also run


    to get the desired font size.

  • 1
    Excellent explanation for my problem. I will bookmark this answer for future references. For the moment I'll use your solution with etoolbok which is preferable of \newcommand which crossed my mind.
    – Mafsi
    Jan 23 '21 at 9:02

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